WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) is fighting to help hundreds of east Texas workers who may be left without a job in the next few months.
Citation, a metal components foundry located in Lufkin, employs over 400 hard-working east Texans and has served as a vital part of the area for over 30 years, making safety critical parts for the automotive markets. However, in the midst of a troubling economy and with consumers buying fewer vehicles, Citation is expected to shut down operations in March 2009.
Congressman Gohmert has thrown his support behind the company's employees, urging the Department of Labor to certify the Lufkin Citation plant eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA). If the plant is declared eligible, the program would provide employees with rapid and early assistance and the opportunity to engage in long-term training while earning income support. The TAA and ATAA were established to provide such assistance to workers in companies affected by imports and shifts in production to certain foreign countries due to unfair trade practices. Citation employees may be eligible, as the plant's business has decreased drastically due to foreign country subsidies of their own industries.
Rep. Gohmert stated, "We must help American workers in the increasingly competitive global market, especially as so much of the crunch being felt in east Texas was terribly aggravated by the Secretary of the Treasury and others scaring potential buyers into not making purchases. They caused damage far in excess of the problems we were experiencing. Citation has been an integral part of Lufkin and the east Texas community, having served the area and contributed to the national market for several decades. It is a shame that so many diligent employees are hurt, but I'm pushing to make sure they are helped to transition into available jobs. We want to make sure it's American workers who benefit from the fruit of their own labor."